We know that taste is largely dependent on smell: The combined process has its own word in English, flavour. But have you stopped to think that the fragrance industry is taking the matter of flavour into a most sophisticated level? Apart from the rather standard flavourings one meets in beverages, canned foods, prepackaged meals and desserts, there lurks a whole fascinating world of unusual and as of yet uncharted territories of flavour ingredients and molecules which might give us pause for thought in the near future.
According to Datamonitor, Comax Flavors, a company with a strong presence in the industry, has launched a line of kosher vegetarian meat flavors for meat analogues from sources such as soy and wheat to serve the needs of vegetarians and vegans, an increasing percentage in the US, the United Kingdom and Asia, who do not consume meat products but -apparently- like the flavour of animal-sourced food. Faux meat if you please. The Comax products include roasted chicken, roast beef, bacon, pork, hot dog, turkey and roasted ham flavourings. The interesting bit is that flavors are available in a variety of permutations: natural and artificially flavored, oil soluble and water soluble, and liquid and powdered versions.
"To the casual observer, creating vegetarian meatless-meat flavors may seem like a relatively generic job for a flavor developer, but it actually holds its own special challenges. For instance, it’s very important that such flavors be strong enough to stand up to highly-absorbent vegetable proteins. Through the art of reaction technology, Comax is able to provide ingredients that replace and enhance the flavors of meats while still keeping the final product in line with vegetarian consumption. Applications where these flavors tend to be most advantageous are broths, sauces and marinades, but they come in handy for a whole range of other meatless products as well.” So say Gladys Slovis, applications lab manager.
But not everything revolves around meat either! Comax is intent on the marketing of coconut water flavours (due to the high potassium quota) and a pleiad of sweet & savoury flavourings to be used in Greek yoghurt, often reminiscing classical Greek delicasies such as baklava. The rest of the flavours include cinnamon bun, cucumber (obviously the prime ingredient in a good tzatziki, hold the garlic) and cherry black currant.
"With its unique body, silky mouthfeel and satisfying richness, Greek yogurt offers the ideal vehicle to showcase ... true-to-life flavors to suit a given product application," adds applications lab manager Gladys Slovis. "Even at 0% fat, Greek yogurts taste decadently rich.” We couldn't disagree, even though we prefer our baklava on the side.
Further reading: Bell Flavors & Fragrances present the 10 "trends" in the way of smells for 2010 (including grapefruit rhubarb rose, Seashore driftwood, White amber/patchouli, Mahogany vetiver, Absinthe, Mandarin/orange blossom, Mojito, Woody iris, Satinwood and Szechwan pepper. Now you know why your contemporary fragrance is smelling the way it does.
photo via seattleweekly blogs (possibly subject unrelated to Comax)